Jewish immigration to NYC?

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Karoliina, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    I didn't really know how to title this thread, because I don't have just one, specific question.

    The thing is, I believe I've had two incarnations between the 1870s and 1950s. In the first one I think I was an upper class Englishman, who moved to South Africa to do business. In the other one I believe I was a Jewish woman who, again, was born to a rich family, but was against that kind of lifestyle and wanted to be an artist.

    I'm quite positive I have beed hiding from the Nazis in that life, and earlier I believed I was also on a concentration camp, surviving though. But I'm not so sure anymore. Somehow I'm beginning to think my family went to exile in NYC during the WWII. Or at least me. I'm very drawn to New York's Jewish community.

    Has anybody got some memories or knowledge of this thing? I would like to know if it was possible to go to the U.S. then? I know Marc Chagall got an invitation and left, but how many others could do that? BTW, I have always loved Chagall's art, and I think I might have been close to him being a Jewish artist in Paris too. Or at least I maybe knew him, adored him.

    Somehow I think I didn't really want to go with my family, but they almost forced me, or then I realized I might end up dead otherwise. But I think I was very much against my family's wealth and lifestyle, and wanted just to create and hang out with my artist friends. I think I was drawing some kind of comic strips. I thought it would be just too funny, but then I read somewhere that at that time it really were the Jewish, who made comic strips. Well, anyhow I guess it wouldn't have been common for women.

    Oh dear, this post is a mess :eek: . I don't even know why I started this the way I did. Maybe because it annoys me I don't know the exact timeline concerning these two lives. Practically the only clue I have is my love for the 1920s - I think I must have been young or adult back then. I have had a flash of my Jewish self kissing passionately a soldier. I was very young, maybe not even 20 then. At first I thought it was during the WWI, but then many other things wouldn't make sense. Maybe it was the WWII or maybe there were soldiers in Paris in between the wars too?

    Something is wrong with my "memories", no matter how much I try to reorganize them. I know nobody can help me with that, but I guess the only clear question is, after all, if it's possible that me/my family being Jewish, but reasonably welthy, escaped from France to the U.S. during the WWII?

    With embarassment,

    Karoliina
     
  2. curious_girl

    curious_girl Curious Member

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    Try the Ellis Island records: http://www.ellisisland.org/

    It was possible to flee from Germany (via Switzerland and France) to the U.S.
    I've heard several stories, but I think you needed to have some $$$ to arrange that.

    Curious Girl.
     
  3. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Thanks Curious Girl!

    It seems it's difficult if not impossible to do a search from those records without a name. I took only a quick look now, but anyhow couldn't find statistics by a year and nationality.

    But it helps a lot to know it was possible to flee from Europe to the U.S.! I don't think money was a problem.

    Cheers darling :thumbsup: !

    Karoliina
     
  4. niamh

    niamh Senior Registered

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    Hi, Karoliina.

    You might like to browse around this site: Immigrant Ships Transcriber's Guild

    There don't have a huge amount of material from the WWII era, but what they do have is interesting. I remember reading the roster of one ship that carried only Jewish child refugees.

    Good luck,
    Niamh.
     
  5. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    YAY! What a great site - thank you, thank you, thank you Niamh :thumbsup: !

    Not only does it have an interesting list of European Jews (also French) leaving to the U.S. in 1941, but it also has lists of British passengers coming to the U.S. in the 17th century. So this site is very useful for me in reasearching two different PLs!

    Now the only problem is that I'm too excited to go to bed, and I'm really tired (it's late here).. It's just too much fun browsing that site.

    Thanks Niamh!

    Karoliina
     
  6. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Oh, bugger!

    I had a dream last night about my supposed Jewish life, but I can't remember anything else, but a flash of a woman and a ship, and the name "Lieberman/n". And I can't even be sure whether this dream was a real PL dream or not, because I can't remember it.

    But I'll keep the name in mind. I didn't even feel it was my name, but only that it had something to do with the journey to New York.

    Karoliina
     
  7. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    This is just speculation, and I'm not believing in this before further validation, BUT I'm very, very interested in this SS Mouzinho that sailed from Lisbon, Portugal August 20th 1941 to New York September 2nd.

    I have found a couple of passengers I'm trying to dig more info about - that is French Jewish families with a daughter in her twenties approximately. AND I found a passenger called Bertha _Liebermann_ Mannheimer, who was this widow travelling alone with only $2 on her in 3rd class. I instantly got a feeling my family sort of "adopted" her during that journey.

    I don't know. But I have strong intuition about this, and then there is that name Liebermann..

    Karoliina
     
  8. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    OK, is there a way to know what the people that emigrated to the U.S. would be called now? I mean it was common to translate their surnames into English or at least something "easier", wasn't it?

    Do I just have to guess?? :confused:

    Karoliina
     
  9. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    I have decided to try and research this life again tonight. I would like to find out the years of my births and deaths in the 20th century. I feel I'm really close to finding out where and when I actually lived. After a lot of pondering I'm still pretty sure of three things about this Jewish life: 1) my family was rather wealthy, 2) I wanted to be (and later was) an artist, and 3) I left to NYC with my family during WWII and before that we had to hide from the Nazis. But I'm not so sure of France anymore - even though it is still a possibility. And I'm thinking now it's possible I was born as late as 1925 and got to be an artist in NYC instead of Paris. The time frame is important also because I want to find out more about my life before this Jewish one.

    But I'll let you know if something new comes up!

    Karoliina
     
  10. Carol

    Carol Author

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    Karoliina,
    I recently heard a story on public radio here about H. A. Rey and his wife, Margaret, who wrote the Curious George children's books that are very popular here. They were Jewish and living in Paris in 1940. They escaped on bicycles with the first Curious George manuscript in their possession. Somehow they made it to New York with their manuscript and the book was published in 1941.

    It is my understanding that it was difficult for Jews to emigrate to the U.S. during those years. I'm sure it took money and connections, and there was a quota, limiting the number of immigrants.

    If you ever figure out this mystery, let us know.
    Carol
     
  11. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    Have you ever found any more information Karoliina or have any more memories? My boyfriend is Jewish and his family came to America during WWII. He said he and his sister cannot even locate family names, or relatives. With name changes and re-location during such a turbulent time - reconnecting and validating relatives even in your own family NOW can be difficult.


    Keep us posted!
     
  12. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Thanks for asking, Deborah. :)


    I know a great deal of this particular lifetime nowadays, but I don't remember enough names to find records of these people. And yes, I think it's possible the names were changed. I have a lot of information (between another special someone, who share's part of the memories *waving at Aili*) that would make it possible to validate these memories, if I had enough resources. For example, I later moved to Boston, and I know the school my daughter went to, when she went there, and what her first name was. I once even emailed the school to ask them about it, but was never replied.


    I also believe I know the street where we lived on, and it would be wonderful to go to Boston and see if the house would really be there. :)


    From the European days I think I know my aunt's first and last names, but she was married and had probably different surname than my family. Of my immediate family I only remember the first names of me and my brother.


    From which country did your boyfriend's family come from, Deborah?


    Karoliina
     
  13. Obie

    Obie Senior Registered

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    Karolina,


    I was a Jewish male survivor of the Holocaust. I was Hungarian Jewish. My last name was Swaim or Swain. I was one of the few in my family to survive and then settled in NYC as an investment banker.
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Senior Registered

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    Hi Karoliina, any new updates of this life?
     
  15. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Hello Aaron and thanks for asking.


    Well I have been thinking about this lifetime again, but there's nothing new per se to report. I've asked a member of the forum (Mlitsonata) to try and help me in finding these people, but it's difficult without the last names.


    There's always something to be found - little things - if I feel the need to re-visit this PL. Last week I was just playing with satellite maps and Google Pictures, and found a pond where several memories take place. :)


    Karoliina
     
  16. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    Hi Karoliina,


    If Jewish life in New York in the 1940s is your past life atunement, Shadows on the Hudson, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, will hit the spot!


    I love all aspects of 1940s Americana, this novel was set in a time and place immediately familiar to me.


    Michal
     
  17. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    Thank you for the recommendation, Michal! I will definitely check that book out. :thumbsup:


    Karoliina
     
  18. ButterflyPsyche

    ButterflyPsyche Senior Registered

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    This is a really fascinating memory! I live near NYC and there are many, many Jewish immigrants who live here. When I was younger I met some Holocaust survivors and it seems that towards the earlier years, escape was more probable than later. In addition, many of those who escaped went indirectly, through Denmark, France, etc. first. So, you might consider passages from these countries to the US as well.


    Where was the pond that you saw in your memory? What a great feeling!
     
  19. Karoliina

    Karoliina Moderator Emerita

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    ButterflyPsyche,the pond was actually in Boston, where we lived for the last five years (or so) of my life. :)


    In New York I lived probably on 5th Avenue, but I'm not sure if this was with my parents or with my husband after we got married. I know the apartment was high up and I could see Central Park from the windows. It was not necessarily the 5th Ave., but I think so.


    Thanks, Aaron, I'll keep you posted. :thumbsup:


    Karoliina
     
  20. michaldembinski

    michaldembinski Senior Registered

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    Isaac Bashevis Singer


    Today I went with my son to the Polish National Theatre in Warsaw to see Isaac Bashevis Singer's Stories for Children. The stories' narrator is a Jewish professor, who ends up in New York after the war. He's lost everything except his life and his folk memories of the stetl, with its peddlars, and rabbis and trademen. He takes up with a stray dog, and starts recounting children's stories to it.


    The first scene, before the narrator takes us back to Poland (Chelm in particular - a 'town of fools'), is set in New York City, the modernity and bustle to contrast with the unchanging poverty, but rich inward life, of the stetl.


    The atmosphere of the play put me in mind of this thread.
     
  21. Marc Ross

    Marc Ross Senior Registered

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    Fiddler on the Roof -- movie, stage-play, original book...


    Hello,


    I strongly felt I was Jewish in a PL Connecticut from the 1920s to 1960. Hence the production of 'Fiddler on the Roof' can be viewed as possibly evoking "deja-vu like memories of interest" regarding possible past-lives.


    I just viewed the film on DVD (and have heard the production's soundtracks before) and felt an emotional attachment on account of the excellent production, storyline, and characters; at this time, I feel that the quality of the production (and not any possible PL memories) is what mattered, and always will be what's most important!


    Has anybody felt that 'Fidder on the Roof' evoked any "deja-vu memories of interest?" Reading the original book that the production was based-on is a must!


    LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiddler_on_the_Roof


    Marc
     

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